New Delhi [India], August 14 (ANI): Former India batsman Aakash Chopra feels veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's absence in the second Test against England will hurt the the visitors as the pitch at the Lord's Cricket Ground is slowing down.
Ashwin wasn't included in the squad for the second Test after missing the opening game of the series. Moreover, England didn't allow the Indian tail to wag as the visitors folded up for 364 in the first innings.
The former cricketer reckons since the wicket is getting slower, Ashwin would have been a key for India on the final two days of the second Test.
"Let's be fair, let's be honest, the tail was too long. Shami, Siraj, Bumrah, Ishant -- I mean you don't expect a lot of runs. So it has come back to bite you because none of the four fast bowlers you played bat," said Aakash on his YouTube channel.
"You have not played Ravichandran Ashwin and this pitch is getting slower. The edges are also not carrying and that's another thing that is going to be a regular feature of this Test match that the pitch is getting slower and slightly lower. You need spin on the fourth and fifth day, it is almost certain," he added.
Meanwhile, opening batsman KL Rahul has come out in support of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who are going through a lean patch in the ongoing Test series.
While Pujara scored 9 runs, Rahane got out after scoring one in the first innings of the second Test against England. "Pujara and Ajinkya are fabulous players and have done the job for India many times when we were in trouble. They are world-class and I'm sure they are hungry to go out and score some runs," Rahul said in a virtual press conference after the end of the second day's play.
"They are experienced players so they know how to come out of a couple of innings they haven't scored runs. You also have to realise they are playing in tough conditions. In English conditions batting is always going to be challenging, you are going to get good balls. You can't go out there and score runs in every innings, but if you get a start you make it count," he added. (ANI)